Mark Rothko

Basquiat sets artist record at Christie's sale at $57.3M

A monumental self-portrait by Jean-Michael Basquiat set a world auction record for the artist at $57.3 million Tuesday evening at a Christie's contemporary art sale.

Basquiat's self-portrait, "Untitled, 1982," portrays the young artist as a fiery, demonic figure. The canvas, which features splashes of explosive colors, has appeared in every major Basquiat retrospective. It was created just six years before Basquiat died of a drug overdose at age 27.

The sale exceeded the auction record for the artist, which previously had been $48.8 million. The painting had a pre-sale estimate of $40 million.

Other top lots included a large blue and green painting by Mark...